Written and directed by Fran De La Fuente and Alexan Sarikamichian, ‘Senses’ was produced to help the pair grow as creatives. The film is an independent with an original music score. ‘Senses’ represents a change. Up until now, previous projects have focused on more playful and youthful scenarios. They have also worked mostly on location with natural light, so this video is a step up and away from that. It’s complex and darker, and plays with colour and montage. ‘Senses’ has a unique cinematic feel both in the narrative and art direction. Described as a hybrid between a fashion film and a short, Fran De La Fuente and Alexan Sarikamichian wanted to create a story that couldn’t be told, unless it was told like this.
WHAT WERE YOUR REASONS FOR WANTING TO TELL THIS STORY?
FF: The undeniable and endless reproduction of “feelings” that social media put forward. Telling a love story in a virtual reality setting was the challenge we set ourselves to accomplish. We wanted to tell a story in an intense way.
AKS: I was looking forward to working with Fran, and insisted on thinking about creative triggers. When we first came up with the storyline I knew it was going to be a big project. And even though it is an independent film, we put a lot of effort in it. We knew we wanted to tell a love story, but without any physical communication. It’s about two people who can connect through other senses, using technology instead of love. We wanted to open the discussion about these ongoing debates in the digital era.
HOW DEEPLY WERE YOU INVOLVED WITH THE CINEMATOGRAPHY OF ‘SENSES’?
FF: I’m fascinated by cinematography in general. A lot of what’s on the final picture was worked on in the early stages of the script. We wanted to create a very specific and accentuated look. That required designing, in detail, every scene prior to shooting. We used a wide colour palette, and worked with contrast, depth of field and camera movements. Above all, I think one of our biggest successes was finding the right locations! Throughout the whole project we complemented each other very well; we contributed what each of us knew better and is more passionate about. But we also took a lot of risks, and we achieved many of them!
HOW WAS ‘SENSES’ FINANCED?
AKS: The film was funded by us, as directors and producers of the film. This time, we did not count on an agency to finance the project, we trusted in our own possibilities. When we first started, I knew it was going to be a crazy risk, but I never doubted that eventually, we would pull it through. It was a real challenge to produce and direct such a demanding project. Working independently, I had to ask many favours of friends and people that really supported and trusted our vision.
FF: Exactly, the film was “financed” with the hard work of our team, as well as help from our friends and family. We wanted to tell this story one way or the other, so we designed our production scheme in that way.
WHAT INSPIRED THE AESTHETICS OF THE FILM?
FF: Well, our objective was to work mostly on fashion and advertising. Like scenes and settings. In that sense we were inspired by many other young directors of music videos, short films like ours, and so on. Also, for me personally, Black Mirror is beyond any doubt a clear visual and narrative inspiration.
AKS: We wanted the characters to feel real, that’s why we had to struggle so much at the casting stage. But eventually, we achieved a very faithful result of our initial brief, leaving anything of what we dreamed of behind. From picturing the perfect locations, to actually getting them, we were always very confident in our project and our work. I was mostly inspired by fashion because I’m more attached to fashion magazines and working on that kind of aesthetic.
WHAT IS THE END GOAL FOR ‘SENSES?’
AKS: We came to realise that we work very well as a team; We complemented and understood each other. The video itself is designed for the Internet. Our goal is to achieve a wide audience. By combining some aspects of fashion films, and Cinematic fiction-storytelling, we believe in the possibility of applying to film festivals as well.
FF: Totally, it was a our first experiment working together, and I think the final product is impeccable. It’s not necessary to add any words. The video is born by and for the internet, and it’s mostly pointed at that audience. But as Ale said, having quite a cinematographic look and feel, we are also considering approaching film festivals.
Watch the full video here
Starring: Victoria Bugallo, Guido Carminatti, Draku Solalinde, Dery Altamiraand Clara Lopez
DOP: Sebastian Ferrari & Dani Carrizo
Art & Stylist: BUNT by Johy Turek & Dani El Cabo
Makeup and Hair artist: Rocio Noelia Marrodan for JC Agency.
Orginal Music: Joaquin Bartolomé Otero Sojo
General Production: Alexan Films
Head of Production: Verónica Manfredi
Assistant Producer: Francisco Funes
Casting: Alexan Sarikamichian
Additional VR Content: Juan Falco
Art Assistants: Valentin Gatica, Cacu Luppi